Summer Minestrone

by Jul 18, 2008

What’s for dinner? Combine some of your farmers market finds in a simple but flavorful soup and make dinner with a beautiful bread, some “salty pig parts” (got that one from the Boccolone people up at the Ferry Plaza) and perhaps a little cheese…ahhh. Isn’t that more satisfying than the usual take out? Get in the kitchen, have fun and enjoy the outcome!
Summer Minestrone
8 servings

3 ounces pancetta (3 round slices), chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped or 1 leek, chopped
2 organic carrots, peeled then sliced into circles
½ teaspoon garlic puree
1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 14.5 ounce can organic diced tomatoes, liquid drained off
2 cups water
1 32 ounce box organic chicken broth
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise then diced
2 yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise then diced
1 bunch chard, stems removed and diced, leaves roughly chopped
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled then diced
1 tablespoon oregano leaves, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
1 – 2 teaspoons sea salt, to taste
a few grinds black pepper
½ cup uncooked pasta, small fun shape (I like Rustichella Anellino “O”s)
1. Cook the pancetta in a large soup pot over medium heat about 5 minutes, do not brown.

2. Add olive oil to the pancetta, then garlic, carrots and onion (or leek). Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and stir.

3. Add drained tomatoes, water, chicken stock, zucchini and other squash, chard stems and potato. Simmer 15 minutes over medium low heat. Add chard leaves, oregano, salt and pepper and pasta. Simmer 10 more minutes.

Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips

  • Try keeping a tube of tomato paste in your refrigerator. You can use a tablespoon or so then easily store the rest for later — unlike those pesky 4 ounce cans. I like using Amore brand.
  • The Boccalone Salame Pepato (peppered salami) is fantastic — great anytime you want salami, but try it as an accompaniment with cooked white beans and kale for an easy dinner. This salami is very moist and tasty with restrained seasoning. When you start with quality ingredients, like these guys, you don’t need to kill it with garlic and spices.
  • Acme bread, of course.
  • Since this post is becoming a Ferry Plaza plug, Cowgirl Creamery for cheese.
  • And the vanilla cupcake with apricot buttercream at Miette is yummy!

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